Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019. 12:03 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: The Economic Development Council’s (EDC) Technical Secretariat, along with the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC), recently partnered with the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) to facilitate an exploratory mission to Belize on the subject of “Capital Market Development” from November 25 – 27, 2019.
The visiting delegation included the Chairman and Managing Director of the JSE, along with Jamaican stockbrokers from Barita Investment Limited and NCB Capital Market Limited.
The delegation met with key public and private sector stakeholders to assess opportunities for deepening the financial system in Belize, specifically exploring options for the development of a capital market in Belize.
In connection with this visit, the IFSC, the EDC and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) hosted a business mixer with the private-sector which included presentations by:
Marlene Street-Forest, Managing Director of the Jamaica Stock Exchange on the experience and opportunities that exist for capital market development
Steven Gooden, CEO of NCB Capital Market Limited on stockbroker perspectives
The Inter-American Development Bank on a recently published Blueprint on Capital Market Development in Belize.
Central Bank of Belize on Securities Industries Legislation
During the sessions, stakeholders were apprised of key considerations for capital market development, in particular, the need for capacity building and awareness among the private sector and market education for the public needed in order to foster a culture of investment.
Other critical success factors include the presence of an adequate legal and regulatory framework, infrastructure in the form of digital technology and trained securities intermediaries (stockbrokers).
Opportunities for Belize’s private sector to list on the JSE were discussed as one early-stage option for enabling domestic businesses to raise equity capital which is already possible by virtue of Belize being a CARICOM nation.
This type of financial market innovation would provide new opportunities for improved access to affordable finance by the private sector in Belize through the attraction of regional investors.
It would also represent a channel for the public to invest savings over the long term in investment instruments, thereby connecting the business community with the wider public. Financial systems such as these are critical for channeling domestic liquidity and investment towards a thriving private sector and the overall economic growth of Belize.
The Economic Development Council continues its efforts towards facilitating dialogue between the private and public sectors to foster economic growth in Belize.
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